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2L at Kansas Law Thinks NBA Draft a Safer Bet than OCI

It has been a sports heavy day here on ATL, and in its own way this story is much more interesting than a coincidental intersection of legal issues and sports themes. You see, it’s a sad day in your life when you realize that your parents misled you into pursuing higher education. Sure, education is the “silver bullet” for upward mobility in this society, unless you can hit a curveball or a jump shot. If you’ve got athletic talent, you can often go to school for free (instead of saddling yourself with undergraduate debt). If you have rare talent, you can make far more money than most doctors or lawyers you know.

And even if you never make it to the pros, you can earn a living for a time slumming around the minors or coaching sports. If that lifestyle doesn’t suit you, then you can go back to professional school. Hey, at least you took your shot. It’s not like first year torts is going anywhere.

One Kansas Law student appears to have learned that anti-intellectual lesson a little bit too late. Check out his hilarious letter to the editor posted in the Kansas Law Free Press

To my mind, this letter effectively captures the problem of putting all your professional eggs in the law school basket in a funny way:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

First and foremost, I’d like to thank everyone for coming here today. To my fellow law students, professors, and Vicki Palmer (who copied or forwarded my undergraduate transcripts over one hundred times), I appreciate all you have done for me over these past two seasons at KU Law. This year has been particularly rough, especially considering my early exit from the Moot Court Competition and career-low statistics in both Secured Transactions and Business Associations II. That being said, I’d like to announce my eligibility for the 2010 NBA Draft this June.

After talking extensively with my family, NBA Scouts, and Dean Agrawal, I feel the time is right for me to take my game to the next level. We went through a lot of the same process last summer, but then again, at that time I had a paid internship and a credit score above 600. Given the current economic climate, looming unemployment rates in large legal markets and another potentially devastating subprime real estate ripple approaching, this is the right decision for me financially as well. The daily per diem and impending shoe contract have simply become too alluring in light of rising out-of-state tuition and an increased Consumer Price Index relative to average national legal wages. With little or no hope for an externship and a 0% success rate with OCI, the NBA draft is my next best alternative.

Granted, neither BAR/BRI nor Emanuel produce a commercial outline for the game of basketball, but KU Law has prepared me well for The Association. I don’t think I will go very high, in fact I probably won’t be drafted at all, yet I did recently attend the Sports & Entertainment Law Symposium and the skills I picked up that day will surely be welcomed by any NBA franchise. Additionally, I regularly sat but a few feet away from Cole Aldrich in the Burge and often held the door for Sherron Collins while exiting the bookstore. I’ve also personally witnessed the football and basketball teams engage in hand-to-hand combat at both Wescoe and The Ranch. The wealth of knowledge I’ve gained at KU Law will surely come in handy once my transcripts are lost in a fire or disappear strangely in the night, but until then there is a higher likelihood of me playing in the NBA than finding gainful legal employment.


Ryan McAteer

Former J.D. Candidate 2011

University of Kansas School of Law

CC: David Stern, Stu Jackson

Maybe Ryan’s fake declaration of intent isn’t as far-fetched as it first seems? One of his friends reports:

I know the guy plays a mean roundball.

Still, maybe KU Law students shouldn’t give up on their Biglaw dreams so easily. I mean, if Northern Iowa can advance to the Sweet 16, KU Law students might be able to beat the odds as well.

Letter to the Editor: Overwhelmed by Law School, 2L Declares for NBA Draft [Kansas Law Free Press]

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